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Committee Report | February 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011 - 11:20pm

SED Seal                                                                                   



To:                                           The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents

From:                                      Joseph P. Frey

Subject:                                   Master Plan Amendment:  Medaille College - Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.), Health Information Administration

Date:                                       February 21, 2011




Issue for Decision (Consent  Agenda)

Should the Board of Regents approve a master plan amendment for Medaille College (Amherst campus) to authorize the College to offer its first baccalaureate program in the disciplinary area of the health professions?

Reason(s) for Consideration


Required by State regulation.

Proposed Handling

The question will come before the full Board for consideration at its March 2011 meeting, where it will be voted on and action taken.

Background Information

Medaille College (Amherst campus) seeks Regents approval of a master plan amendment to authorize it to offer a Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.) program in Health Information Administration (HIA).  Master plan amendment is needed because the proposed program would be the College’s first baccalaureate program in the health professions disciplinary area.  At the baccalaureate level, Medaille College offers programs in the disciplinary areas of business and social sciences at the Amherst campus; at its main campus, it offers baccalaureate programs in those areas as well as in the education, biology, physical science, humanities, and agriculture disciplines.


Purpose. The proposed program is designed to prepare students to collect, maintain, interpret, analyze, and protect medical data; build expertise in the competencies needed to progress to a managerial level in the health information management profession; apply the principles of management to healthcare information services departments; understand and manage health databases; pass the Registered Health Information Administrator examination; and recognize the legal, ethical, and medical issues related to patient data.

Curriculum and Academic Resources.  The program would be offered as an online, accelerated, cohort-based degree completion program. A 28-credit “bridge” sequence would be provided to students who do not have a background in health information. The proposed core consists of an upper-division, 60-credit course sequence. This portion of the program would include courses in areas such as data standards and regulation, health administration management, coding in hospitals and other settings, financial and revenue cycle management, and concepts and practices in HIA management. As the sole HIA baccalaureate program in the region, the B.P.S. would complement several A.A.S. programs in the area and provide an option for higher-level study.

The program director has baccalaureate and master’s degrees in health information management and health services administration, respectively, as well as an Ed.D. Consistent with its other practitioner-based programs, the College will engage experienced practitioner faculty (including several current full- and part-time faculty members) who will combine theory with first-hand knowledge of clinical techniques and problem solving.

Students.  The geographic origin of the student body is expected to closely match that of current Medaille students: about 70 percent from the College’s Regents region, 20 percent from the remainder of the State, and 10 percent out of state. The College anticipates 15 students will enroll in the program’s first year, and then about 15 new students per year after that. Marketing would focus on non-traditional and minority students who historically are not well-served in the region.

Need.  The Department of Labor projects that medical records and health information management jobs will increase from an estimated 170,000 jobs in 2006 to approximately 200,000 jobs in 2016 (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009). Health care is one of western New York’s largest industries; three out of the top ten employers in Buffalo are health care organizations. Presidents and CEOs of area organizations such as NYHIMA, Erie Community College, Catholic Health, Independent Health, and BlueCross BlueShield have provided letters of support for the proposed program.

The Department canvassed all degree-granting institutions in the region.  One institution responded; it did not object to the proposed program.

Department Review. The Department has determined that the proposed program meets the standards for registration set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.


It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve a master plan amendment for Medaille College (Amherst campus) to authorize the College to offer its first baccalaureate program in the disciplinary area of the health professions (B.P.S. in Health Information Administration).  The amendment will be effective until March 31, 2012, unless the Department registers the program prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment will be without term.